Slavery in the United States collection, 1703-1905.


Slavery in the United States collection, 1703-1905.

This collection, which spans the years 1703 to 1905, contains a variety of correspondence, business records, and documents relating to slavery in the United States. These materials include both sides of the history of slavery, from slave trading to abolition. There is correspondence of three Richmond, Va., slave trader/auctioneer firms: R.H. Dickinson & Brother, which later became Dickinson, Hill & Co.; E.H. Stokes; and Betts & Gregory. The majority of the correspondence deals with the business of the buying and selling of slaves. Some letters from slave owners set the pricing of their slaves to be sold; while other letters describe the type of slave(s) buyers are looking for (e.g., dark mulatto, boys and girls between a certain age and/or height, a seamstress). There are other letters describing the atmosphere of slave auctions (e.g., dull). Other business records include a daybook of R.H. Dickinson & Brother for the period 1846 to 1849, and an account book for Dickinson, Hill & Co. for the years 1855 to 1858. This volume also includes scattered diary entries of Sarah Earle Chase (1836-1915) for the spring of 1865 in Richmond and for a voyage to Europe in the spring and summer of 1870. There are three folders of sales and tax receipts for slaves, as well as one folder of blank receipts. These materials, along with the above-mentioned correspondence, were probably taken from the Dickinson office in Richmond by Sarah Earle Chase and her sister Lucy Chase (1822-1909) [see the Chase Family Papers collection description]. There are six folders of correspondence of Isaiah Coffin Ray (1804-1882), a boot and shoe merchant in Nantucket and New Bedford, Mass., who shifted his calling to law in the 1850s. He was appointed to the American Anti-Slavery Committee on Finance at the 1844 Convention in New York. These letters, dated 1836 to 1851, mainly concern arrangements for lectures, meetings, etc., while some are of a more personal nature. Several of the correspondents were active in the Fourierist movement and Brook Farm, but the letters appear to be concerned primarily with anti-slavery activities. Principal correspondents are Rebecca T. Pool ( - ), John Orvis (1816-1897), John Anderson Collins (1810-1879), John Allen ( - ), Harrison Gray Otis Colby (1807-1853), Elizabeth Buffum Chace (1806-1899), Asa Burnham Hutchinson (1823-1884), John C. Cluer (1800- ), Albert Brisbane (1809-1890), and William Henry Channing (1810-1884). The miscellaneous correspondence contains both the business of slave trading and the anti-slavery movement. The letters concerning sales of slaves are mainly from the Southern States. However, there are two letters with a northern connection. The first, dated 20 February 1806, from John Taylor, of Northampton, Mass., to Noah Scovell, of Saybrook, Conn., is in regard to a runaway slave girl. The second, dated 15 March 1831, from Nathaniel Humphreys, of Antigua, to Jno. C. Lee, of Salem, Mass., is in regard to the sale of slaves. There are two letters written to Elizur Wright (1804-1885) while he was editor of the Anti-Slavery Reporter in New York City. The first, dated 26 October 1837, is from Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802-1837). He writes that " ... you may depend on me for aid in contributions to the columns of the Magazine ..." Lovejoy, however, was killed by a mob in Alton, Ill., just a few days later on 7 November. The other letter, dated 27 January 1838, is from Rev. John Pierpont (1785-1866) declining to contribute to the magazine. A letter, dated 6 December 1852, from Charles Calistus Burleigh (1810-1878) to Samuel Joseph May (1797-1871) is in regard to Jefferson Lee, " ... originally from the South." It seems Lee had moved to Pennsylvania, then to Plainfield, Mass., and who " ... now thinks it will be for his advantage to remove to Canada ... He thinks of going to the Elgin settlement ..." This letter serves as an introduction of Lee to May. Two letters, dated 12 January and 5 April 1856, are from Charles Emory Smith (1842-1908), of Albany, N.Y., to his uncle Isaac Smith ( - ), of Leominster, Mass. In the letters, Smith argues in favor of abolition and the preservation of the Union, while his uncle opposed the latter principle. There is also a letter, dated 13 August 1868, from Edward A. Huston to Isaac Smith detailing Huston's visit with William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and his family. Two photostats of letters (originals in the UMass library) concern Erasmus Darwin Hudson (1806-1880). The first is a letter of introduction written for him by James Sloan Gibbons (1810-1892), while the other is "short & sweet" from an unidentified correspondent. Other correspondents include George Leonard (1801-1881), William Cost Johnson (1806-1860), Ralph Randolph Gurley (1797-1872), Samuel May (1810-1899), Henry Ingersoll Bowditch (1808-1892), Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876), and James Shannon (1799-1859). Most of these letters are in regard to the deliverance of lectures. The miscellaneous documents include a list of slaves from Plaquemine, La.; bills of sales and deeds for slaves; manumissions; a list of taxes and fees paid to the state of Alabama and Greene County; and a resolution of the state of Massachusetts in regard to the abolition of slavery. One manumission document, dated 26 March 1794, is of particular interest. Signed by Nicholas Davies (c. 1708-1794), and witnessed by seven others, the document liberates twenty of his slaves and their children. It was recorded, on 23 June 1794, at the Bedford County (Va.) Court House. Another interesting manumission, dated 7 July 1845, is for "Amanda Holmes, a coloured woman," and a bill of sale, dated 29 January 1850, for "one negro named Williams Holmes" from Col. Adam D. and Mary B. Stewart, to Amanda Holmes, a free woman of color, all of St. Louis, Mo. Other documents include a typed copy of a slaver's accounts in Africa for the years 1789 to 1792; the constitution of the Cambridge (Mass.) Anti-Slavery Society, dated 4 June 1834; and a school report, by Theron Johnson Damon (1883-1973), entitled "Inside History of Shadrach Fugitive Slave Case," dated 25 May 1905. Damon graduated from Harvard in 1905. A call for a national (or northern) convention, to be held in October 1857, of those in favor of disunion, went out in July of 1857, from Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) and other leading abolitionists. There are twenty-five folders of responses to that call from seventeen states. The also collection contains two small notebooks attributed to Arnold Buffum (1782-1859). The first is a report from the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society and a draft of a petition to the U.S. Congress. The second contains drafts of two lectures or articles dated 26 October 1853 and 4 November 1853 plus two pages of an expense account for 1856.

2 boxes.1 folder ; oversize.2 v. ; octavo.1 v. ; folio.

Related Entities

There are 37 Entities related to this resource.

Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879 (person)

Anti-slavery advocate. From the description of Circular and letter, 1848 Jan. 21, Boston, to Rev. Mr. Russell, South Hingham. (Boston Athenaeum). WorldCat record id: 231311718 Abolitionist and reformer William Lloyd Garrison was founder of the Boston abolitionist paper, The Liberator, and the New England Anti-Slavery Society. From the description of Papers, 1835-1873 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007257 Abolitionist and lectur...

Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society (corporateBody)

May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871 (person)

Samuel May was a Unitarian clergyman of Syracuse, New York with connections to national organizations related to anti-Slavery, temperance, and suffrage, among others. From the description of Samuel J. May diary, 1867. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64691611 Samuel May was a Unitarian Clergyman of Syracuse, New York with connections to national organizations related to Freedman's Relief, Temperance, and Suffrage, among others. From the descripti...

Orvis, John, 1816-1897. (person)

Chase, Sarah, 1836-1911 (person)

Brisbane, Albert, 1809-1890 (person)

Collins, John A. (John Anderson), 1810-1879 (person)

Bowditch, Henry I. (Henry Ingersoll), 1808-1892 (person)

Henry Ingersoll Bowditch, the son of Nathaniel Bowditch and Mary Ingersoll Bowditch, was a physician, author and abolitionist from Salem, Massachusetts. From the description of Life in the woods for a fortnight : or a trip to Katahdin & Moosehead Lake in the summer of 1856. 1856. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 704274320 U.S. specialist in diseases of the chest. From the description of Henry Ingersoll Bowditch letter, 1882, Apr. 7, Boston, to Dr. S. McMurtry. ...

Chace, Elizabeth Buffum, 1806-1899 (person)

Feminist and abolitionist. Author of "Anti-Slavery Reminiscences." Activist for prison reform, the rights of orphans, peace, and temperance. Wife of Samuel Buffington Chace. From the description of Papers of Elizabeth Buffum Chace and her family, [ca. 1801-1900]. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122692042 Reformer. From the description of Elizabeth Buffum Chace note, undated. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79452928 ...

May, Samuel, 1810-1899 (person)

Ray, Isaiah Coffin, 1804-1882. (person)

Hutchinson, Asa B. (person)

Asa Burnham Hutchinson (1823-1884). From the description of Diary, 1853. (American Antiquarian Society). WorldCat record id: 191280787 ...

Allen, John, fl.1930 (person)

Confederate soldier, teacher, and civil engineer, of Franklin County, N.C. From the description of Papers, 1864-1885; (bulk 1870-1879). (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19105446 Resident of Fincastle, Botetourt County, Va. From the description of Papers, 1814-1881. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19105428 North Carolina resident. From the description of John Allen Account book, 1853-1884. (Duke University Library)...

Smith, Charles Emory, 1842-1908 (person)

Journalist, diplomat, and U.S. postmaster general, of Albany, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa.; originally of Mansfield, Conn. From the description of Charles Emory Smith collection, 1895-1903. (University of Connecticut). WorldCat record id: 28420527 ...

Stokes, E. H. (Ellwood Haines), 1815-1897 (person)

Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1806-1880 (person)

Buffum, Arnold, 1782-1859 (person)

Pierpont, John, 1785-1866, (person)

Unitarian clergyman, poet, and reformer. From the description of Papers of John Pierpont [manuscript], 1825-1885. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647953935 American poet. From the description of Passing away -- a dream : autograph manuscript copy of the poem signed, [1837 or later]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 560671584 John Pierpont was born in Connecticut in 1785; he graduated from Yale in 1804 and tried several professions before beco...

Gibbons, J. S. (James Sloan), 1810-1892 (person)

James Gibbons of New Castle County, Del., was a powder worker at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company. From the description of Naturalization papers, 1860. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86123623 ...

Burleigh, Charles C. (Charles Calistus), 1810-1878 (person)

American abolitionist and lecturer. From the description of Autograph entry signed : Salem, Ohio, 1868 Dec. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 639942115 Burleigh was an abolitionist and reformer, associated with the Garrisonian wing of the anti-slavery movement. He was editor of the Unionists, 1835-37, wrote for the Liberator, edited the Pennsylvania Freeman after 1844, and served as the secretary of the American Anti-Slavery Society and editor of its annual reports. ...

Davies, Nicholas, approximately 1709-1794 (person)

Leonard, George, 1801-1881 (person)

Betts & Gregory. (corporateBody)

Dickinson, Hill & Co. (corporateBody)

Colby, H. G. O. (Harrison Gray Otis), 1807-1853 (person)

Wise, Henry A. (Henry Alexander), 1806-1876 (person)

American lawyer and politician; governor of Virginia. From the description of Autograph letter signed : Richmond, to President Buchanan, 1857 Mar. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588282 From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Thomas Teackle in Baltimore, 1841 Jan. 9. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588600 From the description of Autograph letter signed : Richmond, to Col. T.H. Ellis, 1859 Aug. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588...

Pool, Rebecca T. (person)

Lovejoy, Elijah P. (Elijah Parish), 1802-1837 (person)

Alton, Ill. newspaper editor and abolitionist, he was also an ordained Presbyterian minister and had edited the St. Louis Observer. He left St. Louis after several printing presses had been destroyed by pro-slavery mobs and came to Alton. There too, the pro-slavery faction destroyed his presses. In just such an attempt, a member of the mob shot Lovejoy and he died trying to save his press. From the description of Papers, 1835-1837. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat rec...

Damon, Theron J. (Theron Johnson), 1883-1973 (person)

Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884 (person)

William Henry Channing, Unitarian minister and reformer, was born in Boston, Mass. He was the editor of The western messenger, 1838-1839, spent time at Brook Farm, wrote a memoir of his uncle, William Ellery Channing (1848), and with Ralph Waldo Emerson and James Freeman Clarke, wrote a memoir of Margaret Fuller (1852). He later accepted positions as minister in several Unitarian churches in England. From the description of W.H. Channing letter to Dear Sir, 1852 Mar. 29. (Pennsylvani...

Johnson, William Cost, 1806-1860 (person)

Cluer, John C., b. 1800. (person)

Gurley, Ralph Randolph, 1797-1872 (person)

Administrative director, clergyman, and editor. From the description of Letter of Ralph Randolph Gurley, 1854. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79450591 American philanthropist. From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Judge Bates, 1864 Nov. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270505974 ...

Brook Farm Phalanx (West Roxbury, Boston, Mass.) (corporateBody)

Brook Farm was founded by George Ripley in 1841 as a cooperative community based on a transcendental utopian model. In 1844, it began to run on a model inspired by Charles Fourier and in 1845 officially declared itself a Fourierist Phalanx. From the description of Account book : manuscript, 1844-1845 and undated. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612823101 ...

Cambridge Anti-Slavery Society. (corporateBody)

Wright, Elizur, 1804-1885 (person)

American reformer and actuary. From the description of Autograph verses signed "E. Wright," untitled : and apparently addressed to John Pierpont, [n.p., n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270584296 From the description of Autograph letter signed : Boston, to Harper & Brothers, 1847 Jul. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270584294 Elizur Wright was the first commissioner of insurance of Massachusetts (1858-1866), a post created after years of lobbying by Wrig...

Shannon, James, 1799-1859 (person)

James Shannon (1799-1859), educator and clergyman, in 1857 married Frances Cary Moore, daughter of Alsa and Frances Tabb Cary Moore of Athens, Georgia. Shannon was professor of Ancient Languages, University of Georgia (1830-1835); President of the College of Louisiana (1835-1840); President of Bacon College, Harrodsburg, Kentucky (1840-1850); President of University of Missouri (1850-1856); and President of Christian University, Canton, Missouri (1856-1859). From the description of R...